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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

NOT SO NEUTRAL AFTER ALL: THE COLLEEN KERWICK STORY, PART VIII

I am not particularly a big fan of judicial marshals because they have a habit of coming to my door and giving me bad news.  My worst experience of that was when a marshal gave my eight year old daughter 3 single dollar bills as a bribe.  He gave money to her so she would fetch me from the kitchen where I was washing the dishes so he could serve me legal papers.  When you start taking actions that affect my children, that's when I draw the line.

The statutes which cover the actions of process servers such as marshals are as follows:

Sec. 52-50. Persons to whom process shall be directed. (a) All process shall be directed to a state marshal, a constable or other proper officer authorized by statute, or, subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, to an indifferent person. A direction on the process "to any proper officer" shall be sufficient to direct the process to a state marshal, constable or other proper officer.


As you can see, the point is that a process server is supposed to be a neutral person--he is supposed to be dropping off papers, not advocating from one person or another. "indifferent person"*.  Just for clarification, this is what a process server does.  A process server delivers legal documents to the target person who is supposed to receive them and then leaves.  That is all he or she  does--nothing more and nothing less.  A judicial state marshal is not supposed to be snooping around or investigating or acting like an ad hoc detective.

He or she is not supposed to be showing up in Court with three page, single spaced, ten point font, long winded affidavits that have not been presented as evidence in court and have not be subjected to cross examination.  They are not supposed to write up affidavits which can then be used against litigants as a means of taking custody away from them.  Further, you are not supposed to accompany the opposing attorney in the case to the police station and attempt to get the target person into more trouble, which is what Attorney Marshal Kaz admits he did in an affidavit he wrote for Budlong & Barrett in the Savino v. Savino case.  When you start doing that, you are no longer an "indifferent person,"  and you are bottom line in violation of the law [see link at the bottom of the blog for additional clarification of the state marshal's role*]

At the very least, if you do so, you are overstepping your role.  It would sort of be similar to having your child's teacher dropping by unannounced at your house for dinner, just to talk to you more about your child's needs over a nice roast!  Then going back to the principal and telling him what the conversation was like, what the condition of your home was, etc.

So what happened in the Savino v. Savino case with Marshal Bruce Kaz?  Let's look at what his affidavit says!

On December 20, 2015, Marshal Bruce Kaz, a state marshall of Hartford County received motions from Kenneth Savino, the plaintiff in Savino v. Savino, which I have been discussing in this series in regard to the defendant, Colleen Savino.  He received the first motion at 10:15a.m. which was entitled "Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion Regarding the Minor Child's Scheduled Vacation to Arizona With the Plaintiff Father".

I find this an interesting title because it is a "speaking title".  In other words, it is a title that attempts to provide testimony in addition to asking the Court to take action.  Speaking titles and motions ordinarily come from Pro Se parties who don't know any better.  In this situation, it comes from one of the most experienced attorneys in the business, Budlong & Barrett.

Ordinarily, I'd expect such a motion to be called "Motion For Order" or something of that nature.  Who knows why Budlong and Barrett chose to do it this way--perhaps they wished to convey a sense of a poor Dad who is so upset the words just pour out of him.  One thing you can be sure of, if you or I had written up a motion with a title like this, we would have been reprimanded or simply ignored.  But attorneys who do this, well, you know they get away with everything.

Marshal Kaz took the motion "Plaintiff's Ex Parte...Arizona, blah, blah, blah" and met Kenneth Savino at a Radiologist's office in Bloomfield at around 11:00a.m. where Mr. Savino stated he imminently expected Colleen to appear, even though there was, apparently, no specific appointment.  Further, there was no indication that Colleen knew anything about this expectation that she was supposed to be there.  While Marshal Bruce Kaz stated that the pediatrician had ordered the parents to go to this particular radiologist's office at a particular time, I have seen no evidence to prove that this is true.  Again, that is the problem with an affidavit where the opposing attorney does not have the opportunity to scrutinize it or pose questions regarding its content to see how accurate it is.

Further, the affidavit stated that on that day Kenneth Savino had a 1:00p.m. plane to catch going to Arizona.  Was Colleen Kerwick informed of this?  The affidavit doesn't say.  Because clearly, if you go by the concept that you should arrive two hours before your flight, 11:00am is getting rather late.  You'd think that if Kenneth Savino really anticipated flying to Arizona that day and had a ticket in hand, he would have scheduled these appointments for earlier in the day.  The fact that he did not calls into question his credibility.

According to Marshal Bruce Kaz, at around noon, Kenneth Savino received a text message from Colleen Savino indicating that she was getting lunch for the child at a fast food joint.  I would suspect this is a rather mundane activity to be involved in if you are planning to flee the country.  Also at noon, Marshal Bruce Kaz asked Kenneth Savino to send a text to Colleen explaining that the marshal wished to see her right away.  Marshal Kaz does not explain why he didn't send a text using his own phone.  He also states that he cannot be sure if Kenneth Savino sent the text or not, only that he asked him to.  Talking about deliberately setting yourself up for failure.  But again, we are only getting one side of the story because this is an unchallenged affidavit written by a Marshal who appears to have spent almost the entire day supporting one party in the litigation, which considerably calls into question his right to be thought of as "an indifferent party."

There is another factor that calls into question Marshal Kaz' position as an indifferent party.  Specifically, in his afafidavit Marshal Bruce Kaz states that he has "been involved in the exchange of the minor child for parenting time for quite a while."  I am surprised to see a judicial marshal playing such a pivotal role in the custody and access matters related to a particular divorce case.  As I have said, a judicial marshal's job is to deliver court papers as an indifferent party, not to become some sort of co-parent manager supervising the exchange of the child from one parent to the other.  This kind of situation inevitably leads to conflicts of interest and confusion related to boundaries that could be very destructive for the parties involved.

Still, whatever else we can agree or disagree on, it is clear there was no reason to think Colleen Kerwick was going to flee.  For example, according to his affidavit, at around 1:00pm while driving in Avon Marshal Kaz caught a glimpse of Colleen Savino, but wasn't able to catch up to her, "I saw a white BMW wagon that matched the defendant's vehicle with the a young female with blond hair pass me in the opposite direction."  So, at least around 1:00p.m. Colleen Savino had not fled the country!

Further, even if Marshal Kaz wasn't able to catch up with Colleen Kerwick at 1:00p.m., in his affidavit, he did make the observation that at 3:40p.m. that day that she was at home stating, "I stopped at the defendant's residence at approximately 3:40p.m. and noticed the defendant's vehicle was parked in the parking lot."  So why didn't Marshal Bruce Kaz drop off the "Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion" regarding Arizona ordering Colleen to give the child to her ex husband right then and there? Is it because Marshal Kaz was colluding with Kenneth Savino in order to set up Colleen Kerwick for a custody switching scheme?

If he had delivered the first court order, since Colleen has always stated she was ready and prepared to hand over the child when required by law, perhaps the whole fake Amber Alert crisis could have been averted.  Instead, Marshal Kaz disregarded his duty and didn't bother to deliver the order to Colleen Kerwick at that time even though he was fully aware that she was at home and able to receive it!  How ridiculous is that?  Honestly, how can you blame Colleen Kerwick for not obeying a court order if she never even got it?

Instead, Marshal Kaz met with Avon police, Kenneth Savino and the attorney from Budlong & Barrett at the Avon Police Department.  By then, Budlong and Barrett had submitted a motion requesting that the Court deny Colleen Kerwick any further access to the child and asking that the Court grant temporary sole custody to the father.  This motion was entitled "Plaintiff's Emergency Motion to Suspend Defendant Mother's Access to Minor Child and to Award Temporary Sole Custody to Plaintiff father".  Again, this was a speaking title which I believe was intended to bully and intimidate.  Interestingly enough, in his affidavit, Marshal Bruce Kaz deliberately capitalizes the titles of these motions, which in the modern day of the internet is understood to be a form of written shouting.  

Upon review of the Motion for Temporary Sole Custody, yadda, yadda, yadda side by side with Marshal Kaz' affidavit I find a major discrepancy between these documents.  The Motion, which was date/time stamped as December 20, 2013 at 3:55p.m., fifteen minutes after Marshal Kaz noted that Colleen's car was in her driveway, states under Item #12 that "The plaintiff father is in the process of speaking to the police about obtaining an Amber Alert."  But Marshal Kaz' affidavit states that it was only after the Avon police received the second court order granting Kenneth Savino temporary sole custody that the Avon police officer "began to gather information in case an Amber Alert was needed."  From Marshal Kaz' testimony, it appears that Kenneth Savino's sworn statement in his motion to the Court re custody that he was filing an Amber alert actually wasn't correct.

Eventually, in his Affidavit, Marshal Kaz states that he, two police officers, and Kenneth Savino went over to Colleen Kerwick's residence in order to pick up the child.  He implies that they were forced to make "several attempts" before Colleen would open the door.  But when you look at his timeframe this description hardly seems credible.  The  team arrived at 5:45p.m. and Colleen Kerwick opened the door to her apartment at 5:50p.m.; that is a modest five minutes--not much time to argue about opening a door.  That's enough time to run upstairs and put a sweater on before you open a door, or just enough time to finish peeing, clean yourself up and open a door.  But I wouldn't exactly call this a stand off!

Subsequently, the child was handed over to his father essentially without incident.  Then, on the way out the door at 6:05p.m., Marshal Bruce Kaz finally put the two motions, including court orders and associated documents into Colleen Kerwick's hands.

After reviewing Marshal Kaz' affidavit, it would appear that Marshal Kaz pretty much spent all day with Kenneth Savino working on this case.  When you consider that a marshal can make up to 40-70 dollars per delivery of papers, clearly for a single day's work he made a meager salary on December 20, 2013, unless, of course, he could anticipate receiving other kinds of compensation for being so supportive and available to the firm of Budlong and Barrett on that day.  Oh, yes, I see!  It looks as though Marshal Kaz earned a whopping $457.23 that day, much of it for his time which he charged at $50.00 per hour.  Does anyone know if Kaz was statutorily allowed to do that?  

Apparently, tattling on the people he serves is not unusual for Marshal Kaz.  He has also provided witness testimony in other cases against litigants to whom he delivered papers under very similar circumstances, also where a custody issue was on the balance.  For example, Marina Golli and Hector Morera come to mind.

This leaves me with two questions:  1. How can a judicial marshal who is required to act as an indifferent person proceed to act in a manner that clearly favors one party over another; 2.  How is it that the Court allows the attorney firm of Budlong and Barrett to simply disregard standard legal protocol?  Why is this firm so extra special?

During the testimony at the legislature in 2014, many parents talked about how the opposing party in their case got away with obstructing their access and visitation with their children.  Even after repeated motions and hearings in court judges were reluctant to enforce court orders regarding parents' access to their children, and there were no consequences for a failure to obey court ordered parenting schedules.  

In particular, Gerry Mastrangelo spoke eloquently about how his ex wife obstructed his access to his three children.  

How is it that so many parents could go months and months without access to their court ordered parenting time with their children.  However, in this case, all Budlong & Barrett had to do was trump up a single ex parte false charge of denial of access on one day, and without even a court hearing Colleen Kerwick was immediately denied access to her child?  

I think we would all love to know how that is done!  Is it possible that some kinds of wealthy litigants and their special attorney firms are more equal than the rest?

*http://www.cga.ct.gov/2014/fc/2014HB-05554-R000755-FC.htm

33 comments:

  1. Your so called "facts" have become just ludicrous. At this point you are just making things up. In the meantime you are doing a horrible disservice to an innocent child by writing this garbage. You might as well write a fairy tale for all your accuracy.

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    1. You mean the child whom the record shows solely had epileptic seizures while in the care of the father who was arrested at one point for trying to prevent medical personnel from providing medical care to the child. This is the child you are speaking of. Also, just checking, which direct quotations from Marshal Kaz' affidavit to you think are made up. I'm holding it in front of me and my quotations look accurate to me.

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    2. Your are inaccurate! First of all Judicial Marshals do not provide service of process, only State Marshals, Constables, or Indifferent Persons. Under the Statue, Indifferent Persons are allowed to serve specific legal documents but they arer limited to the types of documents they can serve. Under the Statue, Indifferent Person is different than a State Marshal. Secondly, Bruce Kaz is a State Marshal not an attorney as you describe in your blog. Again you state a "Fake Amber Alert", if no Amber Alert was issued how can it be fake? Also you state that State Marshal Kaz "caught a glimpse of Colleen Kerwick but was unable to catch up to her". That is not what the affidavit of Marshal Kaz states. First he does not state that it was Colleen Kerwick he saw. What he states and testified to is that he saw a white BMW vehicle that matches the type of vehicle that Ms. Kerwick drives. Never did he say or document that it was Colleen Kerwick. You can't even read the document (affidavit) correctly. Not unusual for you to report things out of context and totally misleading. You call yourself a journalist but your not even close to being one. Your just a very vindictive individual who has nothing better to do with your life but try and destroy the lives of others.

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  2. To be very specific, Attorney Capbell Barrett and Attorney Jon Kukucka lied to the Court in Item #12 of their Dec. 20, 2013 motion for sole custody (etc. etc. etc.) when they stated that "The plaintiff father is in the process of speaking to the police about obtaining an Amber Alert." The fake amber alert, therefore, to which I refer is these attorneys fraudulent statement to the Court that there was any basis whatsoever for such an alert when they were well aware that they had absolutely no basis for saying any such thing.

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    1. oh, come on, Marshal Kaz knew exactly who he saw on the road that day. Nobody is the least bit fooled. You couldn't get a more exact description of Colleen Kerwick.

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  3. You are a very sick individual if you think this is in the child's bests interests. No wonder you had problems with your kids given the judgement you show.

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  4. Wonder why you never testified in this case? Oh, right, that's because this is nothing but a bunch of lies which would be exposed in court.

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  5. I have been following your blog for awhile and find it very interesting and informative at times. I have no comment to make in this specific matter but I'm interested in knowing how long this blog has been available and how many hits you get on this blog.

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    1. I believe that asking these questions is on the level of asking a lady how old she is! Suffice it to say that I am getting onto my fifth anniversary and I have been amazed at the profound impact this blog has had regarding the conversation about what is going on in Family Court today. When it comes to that I credit the many thoughtful readers who have contributed their suggestions and ideas to this blog as well as the individuals who have courageously stepped forward to share their stories.

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    2. How many hits have you had over the five years?

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    3. Who cares, really? It's who the hits are from that counts, in my view!

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    4. The question seems somewhat intrusive.

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    5. How do you know who the hits are from if they are "Anonymous". That is a ridiculous statement to say "it who the hits are from that counts..". If you are a blogger I would think it matters how many hits you have. If you don't want to disclose this for whatever reason it proves that you're not followed by many. Nice to toot your own horn when there is nobody to toot to!

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    6. I just publish the above comment because it is another clear demonstration of the kinds of bullying that Colleen Kerwick has to deal with all the time in her case. There are more comments, clearly from people who are on the opposing side, on the blogs regarding Colleen's case, full of insinuations, unfounded negative conclusions, slandering, denying proven facts, threatening, etc. than in any of the other cases I have written about. This in and of itself demonstrates the truth of what I have said thus far.

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  6. The only bullying that is going on is your cyberbullying with this blog which is a disgusting distortion of reality. You should be ashamed of yourself for putting this online.

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    1. Again, I rest my case that the people on the opposing side of this case are not gentlemen.

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  7. The media serves as a public watchdog to shine a light on injustices in the system. In this case, the minor child was well served by the media reports such as this blog. One thousand and eighty four (1,084) people signed a petition on www.change.org to ask the courts and the Irish government to bring this child back to his mother. The child has been well served by media. How horrible would it be for this child to lose his mother over attorneys and Marshalls lying to the police and to the courts to justify their fees by saving a wealthy man from paying child support? This child has been well served by new media.

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  8. So let me understand, your eight year old daughter answers the door to a perfect stranger, then opens the door to this perfect stranger, takes money from the stranger and brings this money to you and this concerns you about the actions of the marshal. If this is true and it happened they way you are depicting; I would be more concerned that your eight year old daughter not only answered the door but also opened a door to a perfect stranger. What have taught your children about contact with strangers? Good parenting skills on your part.

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    1. I can only say that in the sixteen years that I've lived at this address the only person who ever came to the door to bribe my children was a state marshal. I didn't say my daughter open the door--state marshals just open the doors to homes and drop in their paperwork as I've described previously. I could continue--

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  9. And you are a "gentleman" by publishing this garbage??? And lying constantly??

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    1. I have carefully backed up everything I have said with the facts. I'm sorry the facts bother you. I'd call your unfounded comments and insinuations definitely "ungentlemanly" particularly when they consist of simple name calling as it does to the greater extent.

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  10. please continue

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    1. Yes, it has been pointed out to me that your comment on the marshal coming into the house is similar to stating that a woman who dresses in a "sexy" way deserved to be raped.

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  11. So let's see-3 Hartford judges, one GAL, one court appointed psychologist, one Middletown judge, one State Marshal, all with more than 100 years of combined expeience in CT family court are all wrong and one unemployed Mother, who has been arrested and convicted of domestic violence, arrested 2 separate times for harrassment and for identity fraud , is all right.
    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

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    1. When the judges, attorneys, and GALs in a case have decided on the direction a case is going to take, then it usually stays on that track unless something extraordinary happens. 100 years of combined experience in the corrupt family court system--I'm impressed. I know of no other State Marshall, fyi, who has been so entangled in providing testimony in regard to the litigants he or she has delivered papers to, and I suspect that is a violation of ethics. Could you provide evidence of unemployment? Could you provide evidence of being convicted of DV, could you provide evidence of the harassment and ID fraud? But as I've said, repeatedly I have come to family court as well as criminal court and observed proceedings and the violation of some of our most fundamental due process and constitutional rights is extraordinary. At one point, a friend of mine, also an observer, was simply thrown out of court for zero reason by the judge, even though, theoretically, we have an open court policy in the State of CT. So you put on this act of amazement and that is quite disingenuous because anyone with any experience with the system itself can say with confidence, yes, despite all the judges, attorneys, GALs, psychotherapists, state marshals, what have you, the injustice in CT family courts is extraordinary and pervasive. If this is what you are asking, the answer is yes.

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  12. The evidence is all in the court files if you cared to be impartial.

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    1. I did review the court files in preparation for writing this series on Colleen Kerwick. This confirmed the conclusions that I had drawn. In addition, I had access to documents that were outside of the court file.

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    2. I know enough to know that the GAL is this case only met her child client once for 30 minutes in the entire time she was representing that child. I am aware that the court appointed psychologist for the better part supported Colleen Kerwick, at least in his extensive initial report which was quite positive about Colleen. A marshal has no business providing testimony about anyone, he is simply a process server and should not be going around offering his services in multiple divorce cases to particular law firms to perjure himself in return for financial benefits. I could continue. The bottom line is that Colleen Kerwick has always been open, honest, and straightforward with me and has provided me with a broad range of documentation which the opposing side has not done. I see no criminal convictions for Colleen Kerwick anywhere, but I will see it is a standard practice for abusers to attempt to get their victims arrested for fabricated and/or trumped up charges. Bottom line is, we've got hot air from the opposing side, slander from the opposing side, hyperbole from the opposing side, bullying and threats from the opposing side, ungentlemanly behavior from the opposing side, but no serious contributions from that side to our understanding of what actually happened in the Savino/Kerwick divorce.

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  13. You continue to report false facts surrounding this matter. As a journalist you must report the facts accurately and you have not done such in this case. To accuse someone of "perjury" and "financial benefits" without any evidence of such is very dangerous and could result in a lawsuit against you. I also have read the documents that you are using and have a completely different take on this case. However, I would be very cautious of accusing anyone of anything without first hand knowledge.

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    1. Again, I rest my case. A comment like this one above full of threats and breathing fire against a journalist exercising his or her constitutional right to freedom of speech but light on actual facts says anything you need to know. I stand behind every word of my blogs in this case which I have fully researched. As Martin Luther once said, "On this I take my stand. I can do no other."

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  14. I stand by my reply. I would like to know how you know "Marshal Kaz knew exactly who he saw on the road that day ... (December 20, 2013 added)". Have you spoken to Marshal Kaz and he stated that it was Colleen Kerwick? I have not seen anything that says he saw Colleen Kerwick on the road. Are you just making this up or is there something that you reviewed that states what you have published?

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  15. Why would this so called ":journalist" bother to research the facts when she can just make them up? This blog is a joke and it's only a matter of time until she is sued for her slander and defamation. If she thinks Miss Kerwick has been nothing but honest then that tells you all you need to know about her "journalistic" talents

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  16. I read Marshal Kaz affidavit which he provided to the Court and I think it is pretty clear that he saw Colleen Kerwick from what he stated. I think it is also pretty clear that Marshal Kaz behavior that day was completely improper, the idea that he would spend an entire day holding the father's hand and communicating with the father's attorneys etc. is absolutely outrageous. Then he was paid a big fee for doing so. What this blog re Colleen Kerwick is about and let's just get down to it, is depriving a little boy, almost a baby, of his mother for absolutely NO justifiable reason whatsoever. That is what this is about. Now, you want to attack me, fine. You want to say this website is a joke, fine, You and your cohorts repeat and repeat just those kinds of empty words as if exaggeration and hyperbole somehow make your case. The thing is, this is not a family court room where you can throw your weight around and bully people and make a case out of nothing. Here on this website, you actually need to tell the truth and provide the evidence. So far, you haven't done anything more than throw out threats. Threats are not facts. But more than anything else they tell me and everyone else for that matter what kinds of people you are; who are the people who would try to take a child away from a fit mother? These are 1984 type people who hope that if you tell a lie long enough people will consider it to be the truth. These are people who have no problem bullying, threatening, slandering, exploiting, terrifying--why?--in order to have their own selfish way. Why? Because they are making tons and tons of money at the expense of suffering children and their mothers whom they have no problem browbeating and harassing at the behest of the abusive fathers they are representing. I could continue, but why bother. The facts that I have presented in the blogs regarding Colleen Kerwick are correct. I have every admiration for Colleen Kerwick, for her strength, for her strong ethical base, for her excellent skills as a mother, for her devotion to her child, and her willingness to stand up for the principles she believes in, and for her compassion towards others. Anybody who doesn't like this, too bad. All those criminal elements who have seen fit to persecute Colleen Kerwick, as far as I am concerned, are beneath not only my notice but Colleens as well.

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